You might be considering adding signing electronically to your own business processes or maybe you were asked to sign a document online. That all sounds wonderfully easy but how about the legality of it all? Is an electronic signature binding and enforceable? A very valid question!

The short answer

Yes.

Please explain

If you ask us, the electronic signature is a much safer option of having contracts signed than sending a PDF to be printed, signed and scanned in order to be emailed back. The signer could have changed any number of things in the document before signing. This is not the case when you use SignRequest. No-one can change anything about your document without your approval. This way everyone always knows exactly what’s going on. What is more, all documents are stored within SignRequest for all parties to review.

But what about the legality?

A number of laws in e.g. the US, the UK and the EU state that electronic signatures are valid and binding. In the USA this is the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce act or ESIGN. On top of that, there is also the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) which basically states the same about electronic signatures. In the EU there is the Electronic Identification, Authentication and trust Services or eIDAS regulation. It states the legality of the electronic signature but also gives a set of ground rules the electronic signature should comply with.

a. it is uniquely linked to the signatory;

b. it is capable of identifying the signatory;

c. it is created using electronic signature creation data that the   signatory can, with a high level of confidence, use under his sole control; and

d. it is linked to the data signed therewith in such a way that any   subsequent change in the data is detectable.

Thanks to the signing log each signer receives after the signing process is completed, using SignRequest will take care of a, b and d. Because senders will create a protected SignRequest account, c is also checked off.

All the upsides

Honestly, there just is no reason to still force people to print, sign and scan in 2018. The law is on your side for the electronic signature, the Amazon would love to see you reduce your use of paper and your signers are simply sick and tired of the printing/scanning cycle. With such affordable and easy alternatives available, what else do we need? Send your own SignRequest.